Christmas had come and gone. January was practically here, and Brice was all his lonesome at the little diner across the street from where he worked, right on the square.
He looked around, noticing everyone was texting or talking on their phones. Everyone was in their own little world.
Of course, he'd spent Christmas with his mother. He'd made dinner for her because she could barely get around on her own. She did live in the retirement lodge for educators.
As it was, she'd had him late in life, and he was thankful she was still here. Even if, she brought up, every time, how she didn't want him to be alone. It would bring her to tears and he would be sad too.
Maybe he was only going out with Martha to make his mother happy, but he didn't think so. It just wasn't going to happen. He'd decided.
Besides, he couldn't father children, biologically speaking. It was actually the deciding factor that broke his one and only relationship to bits.
He didn't want to think about it now. How his mother forced him to have the paternity test that messed everything up. Maybe..maybe they could be happy with a family, right now. It didn't have to be perfect. As it was, his ex was alone raising a child in a big city.
Now he felt so selfish. He'd listened to his mother then. And he listened to her now.. going on about how alone he was. Brice felt so defeated. But this to shall pass, he kept promising himself as he stayed calm at the old diner.
He was waiting to order. But there was the one waitress and it was taking forever.
Brice felt like walking out. But where would he go? He didn't have any place to go on this cold winter's night. But home.
His cell went off.
Brice jumped to it. Martha needed him. Her words. He had to read them twice.
"Can you please come pick me up?" She texted.
He called her immediately. She was upset. Something about her mother and little sister having a row. Immediately, he told her he'd be right there.
He looked up to see the waitress ready to take his order, but he had to go.
Martha hadn't found her coat when she left. She couldn't take it with her mother, anymore. Of course, Effy made her exit long before Martha.
Why was her mother like this?
Martha was shivering, but it was warm in Brice's car and in a couple of blocks they were at his place. He was in the kitchen making coffee.
"Do you think I'm like my mother?" She paced the livingroom floor of his little rustic place.
"Your mother? Well..I really don't know her?" He looked a little shocked that she'd even want his opinion.
"Everyone calls her a snob." She was serious. "Actually, she's very depressed and sensitive and..and she..is so cold." She told Brice, her mother was on three antidepressants. "You'd, think one of them would work by now." She sighed, rubbing her shoulders thinking she should be warm, but he reached for his thick gray sweater on the chair of his desk that was in a quaint little space beyond the French doors that went into the dining room.
Immediately, his essences wrapped around her, and she felt a comfort transpire. She couldn't help but breath in the quaint sandalwood fragrance.
Before Martha knew it, he laid out a supper of an egg sandwich and home fries. It was just what she needed.
She looked out the dining-room window and saw it snowing.
"My little sister has a girlfriend." Martha told Brice when she got situated at the table. She sipped the rich creamed coffee. "And mother can't stand it." Martha sighed. "I really don't think it has anything to do with her being a lesbian so much, but the idea that Effy is happy."
Brice placed his warm hand over hers. She knew then what she'd been missing. She really wouldn't let herself find happiness until now.